Fibromyalgia is a difficult illness to describe to someone, but this is how I explain it to people.
Fibro is a combination of symptoms, and is collectively known as a syndrome because of this collection. However, there are real physical changes and real physical consequences that can also classify it as a disease too. Take your pick on how you want to interpret it, but to us fibromites (how we like to call ourselves) it is a very real and very debilitating illness.
There are two main factors to Fibromyalgia. Pain and Fatigue.
This ranges from burning, aching, stabbing, acute, throbbing. Ask a Fibromite what their pain is like and you will get a range of explanations, but most commonly you will get 'I hurt ALL over'. The pain can be mild aching to all consuming pain that makes you want to curl up in a ball and scream. This is a major part of Fibro. This is apparently due to two chemicals called Serotonin and Substance P. These are in the brain and spine. They control how the body processes pain, and in Fibromites, these chemicals are elevated compared to a normal person. This in turn makes us super efficient at processing pain. Ouch!
Tiredness plays a big part also in Fibro. It can be mild tiredness to all out exhaustion. One of the reasons for this is because it has been discovered in fibromites that although some can get to sleep quite easily, the level of deep sleep is often disturbed by bursts of brain activity. This in turn stops the deep sleep needed for the body to carry out its most regenerative work, and fibromites often wake up non refreshed, even if they have slept all night. Others don't sleep much at all, often waking in pain. I am one of these :(
This list is not exhaustive but other symptoms of Fibro are:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome or similar stomach issues
- Restless Legs
- Light, Sound, Smell sensitivities
- Intolerance to medications
- Chronic Headaches
- Morning Stiffness
If you want to know more about Fibromyalgia, then you can find out some excellent information and get invaluable support and advice from here: